This season, from January through March, is full of emotion for me. Our sunshine girl, our firstborn who preceded all of our losses, was born in January. January six years ago is also when I began having a series of medical issues that complicated an otherwise normal second pregnancy, which eventually led to the loss of our daughter Naomi at eighteen weeks gestation. And the end of March is my son’s birthday, my rainbow boy who brought joy and light to our family after three losses. From the beginning of January until the beginning of April, I live and breathe memories, both sad and happy.
Tucked in between January and March is one of those memories. February 2. It is a date that is remembered by no one outside of our family. It’s the date our fourth child, Jordan, might have been born, if he had lived.
In our progression of losses, Jordan almost seems to not count. My pregnancy with him was extremely short. I found out I was pregnant, went in for an HCG blood test, and waited.
I waited seven hours to hear back from my OB office, and in those seven hours, I lived a lifetime.
I figured out my baby’s due date.
I figured out how old our daughter would be when he (she?) was born.
I thought through how maternity leave would work and where my maternity clothes were.
I thanked God that there would be additional birthday parties, graduations, and celebrations in the future, because of this little one, and that my daughter would grow up with a sibling after all.
And then the call came and that lifetime I dreamed up evaporated, because the blood count was too low to give any hope that this was a viable pregnancy. No, there was no need to come in. It was so early that my body should resolve everything on its own. Yes, we could try again next month. I’m sorry.
And that was that. From my dropping HCG count, our baby was already with Jesus, and I hadn’t known. It was a “chemical pregnancy“, I was told, but that only described my condition, not my child, my third to fly to Heaven. I wept that night and many, many times in the weeks and months to come. No, it was not “easier” losing him earlier. In some ways, yes. Less physical recovery, fewer pregnancy hormones messing with my mind. But more time to go through a shadow pregnancy that wasn’t to be, thinking of the doctor’s appointments that I did not need and the maternity clothes I would not wear.
And when February 2, my due date, came the next year, I remembered.
Had Jordan lived, he would be turning five years old this month. Had he lived, perhaps my rainbow boy would not be here, as he was conceived not many months after that due date that wasn’t. (One of many “crazy” thoughts that occupies the mind of those of us with babies in Heaven.)
But whatever might have been, as a family we remember what was, and what is, and every February I take a quiet moment to think about Jordan and his four siblings with him in Heaven. I lift a prayer for the many, many other parents I have met since then who also miss their babies in Heaven. And I rest in the knowledge that God has them and us in His arms and is directing our steps on Earth until we see each other again.
Have you been through the loss of a baby, from the earliest days of pregnancy through early infancy? If you need support, please look at the Naomi’s Circle website to find a support group in the Midlands that can help.